Finish First Amongst Ivies
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. - The Yale men's golf team was unable to grab first place at the Big Five Invitational, but even on a weekend when the Bulldogs felt they did not have their best stuff, the rest of the Ivy League proved to be no match for them. Yale (594) came in third behind Campbell (587) and Richmond (591), but their Ivy League Competitors, Penn (600), Harvard (601), Cornell (609) and Princeton (616) finished in fourth, sixth, eighth and 13th, respectively.
"We think we are one of the best teams in the Ivy League right now," said junior Tom McCarthy. "We won our own tournament last weekend, and then this weekend, we didn't play our best, but still came out on top of our league competitors."
The Bulldogs were led by senior captain Ben Wescoe who finished in a tie for seventh, with a two-round total of 147 (+5). On Saturday, Wescoe seemed to be the only Yale player immune to the tough scoring conditions of the Philadelphia Cricket Club. Wescoe posted an even-par round of 71 (E), driven by three back nine birdies. The tough conditions and difficult course finally got the best of Wescoe on Sunday, though, as he fired a round of 76 (+5). He could only muster one birdie on the par three third and he struggled all day on the par fives, firing three bogeys on the three par five holes.
McCarthy had a better Sunday than Saturday. McCarthy fired a 75 (+4) on Saturday in an up-and-down round that featured three birdies, five bogeys, and a double bogey. He was able to cut two shots off his score on Sunday and card a 73 (+2). McCarthy was two-over as he made the turn to the back nine and three-over heading into 18, but a birdie on the par four 18th left McCarthy just two-over and in a tie for 11th place.
"It was a tough course, but really nice and fair," said McCarthy. "The greens were fast and pretty undulating. They gave us some tough pins on Sunday, and if you got in the wrong spots on the greens you would have to do well to two-putt. We all just tried to hang in there."
Freshman Brad Kushner and Junior Brandon Marick both shot rounds of 74 (+3) on Sunday. Each was an improvement from Saturday where Kushner shot75 (+4) and Marick shot 77(+6). Kushner had a nice round going at even-par through 13 holes. After double bogeying the par four 14th, he bounced back with a birdie on the par three 15th. But back-to-back bogeys on 16 and 17, dropped him from would have been a tie for seventh, into a tie for 16th. Marick got off to a rough start with a double bogey on the par three third, but got a stroke back with a birdie on the par five seventh. Unfortunately, Marick's back nine was a rollercoaster of bogeys and birdies that left him two-over for the back nine and three-over for the round. He finished in a tie for 27th.
Yale's fifth player was freshman Carson Weinand, who finished in a tie for 29th. Weinand shot 76 (+5) on Saturday and 78 (+7) on Sunday. Weinand's front nine on Sunday got off to a bad start with a bogey on the par four first. He followed it up with bogeys on three, five and seven. Weinand managed to birdie the par three 10th and par four 17th, but two double bogeys and bogey prevented Weinand from being able to salvage the round.
"I think we were just as good as the other teams this weekend," said McCarthy. "Yesterday, in the middle of the round, it seemed like none of us were playing well, and yet at the end of the day we were in second. We figured we had to play better today than yesterday in order to win. I know I really struggled to get anything going, and I think it was the same for a lot of people."
The Bulldogs have another quick turnaround as they will take on the rest of the Ivy League in a match play event on Oct. 17-18. The event will take place at The Bay Club in Mattapoisett, Mass.
"Putting is what really gave us some trouble this weekend," said McCarthy. "They were tough pins and quick greens. I know I cannot hit the ball any closer to the hole than I have been. I just need to start putting better. Putting is the equalizer, because we are hitting the ball better than any other team right now. So I think our short game is going to be the priority next week heading into the match play."
Report filed by Charles Moore '10, Yale Sports Publicity